In Breaking of Bread

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For many years, belief in transubstantiation has been a hallmark of membership of the Church of Rome, and attempts to find new ways of expressing what is held about the Eucharist have been blamed for compromising the reality of Christ's presence there. But the notion of transubstantiation was developed in the scholastic tradition of theology, and that tradition no longer enjoys the favour it once did in the Roman Church. Moreover, the notion went with an ancient pattern of worship, and that pattern has been radically changed. With so much of the setting gone, it is not surprising that debates about transubstantiation have died down. This book is written in the belief that reflection upon the matter is indispensable. The author submits that transubstantiation and its proposed replacements are fundamentally similar in their confusions - they divorce appearance from reality because they fail to do justice to the Eucharist as a rite. The changes in Roman Catholic worship have sharpened the need for an account that will do justice; the book is an endeavour to provide one. But it tries to do more. Changes in worship and practice in the Church of Rome have led to much disagreement and anguish, and tensions involving the Vatican and the pope have become notorious. The problems of authority, of cohesion and of relating present to past are seen in the Roman Church today because they are seen everywhere. Dr FitzPatrick discusses these problems, and tries to exhibit the Eucharist as a pattern for coping with them.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'An immensely important book, beautifully written, powerfully argued, often delightfully witty, and sometimes … quite moving.' Fergus Kerr
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521027335
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2006
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

List of abbreviations
Methods of citation
1 Against transubstantiation 1
2 Against transignification 49
3 History and language 108
4 Signs and disguises 133
5 Eucharistic proclamation 175
6 'Corpus mysticum' 247
References 382
Selective index 394
Texts of Aquinas, cited or mentioned 406
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